Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg announced a $26 billion agreement that will help bring relief to people across the country who are struggling with opioid addiction.
The agreement includes Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen — the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors — and Johnson & Johnson, which manufactured and marketed opioids. The agreement also requires significant industry and resolves investigations and litigation over the companies’ roles in creating and fueling the opioid epidemic.
The agreement would resolve the claims of states and local governments across the country, including the nearly 4,000 that have filed lawsuits in federal and state courts. Following Thursday's agreement, states have 30 days to sign onto the deal and local governments in the participating states will have up to 150 days to join to secure a critical mass of participating states and local governments. States and their local governments will receive maximum payments if each state and its local governments join together in support of the agreement.
“This settlement has the potential to bring approximately $50 million to the people of South Dakota, spread out over the next 17 years, to help our state and help our families who have been affected by the ravages of opioid addiction,” Ravnsborg said in a news release
The three distributors collectively will pay up to $21 billion over 18 years.